Interior Design

Exciting news this week from Mays Farm - the decorating is about to begin! Not everywhere, but a few rooms are ready for their paint. Bookroom red in the Library, lime white in the Drawing Room and bedroom two, whitewash in the Chapel. The reason? Apart from the obvious ...

The reason that these four rooms MUST be decorated is that all the furniture is arriving during the last week of June and will need to be stored in those rooms until the rest of the house is ready. We have been really blessed that we were allowed to leave all our stuff in the London Vicarage, and not have to pay for storage. But now the Vicarage needs to be emptied and so the Removal Men are booked and we will be reunited with our belongings.

It took FIVE HOURS (on a flight from DC to Heathrow) to go through each of the new rooms and decide which furniture will go where. What a blessing this new calling of our ministry this is proving to be; I was SO excited I could barely sit still even with the seatbelt sign warning on!

But we can't put the furniture into most of the rooms just yet and so it will be stored in one of four rooms - and those need decorating before it is unloaded! Might you like to come and wield a paintbrush with us and others?  Come and enjoy a day in the country at Mays Farm - each of the previous work days have been great fun and we have loved having others around who have blessed us, enjoyed the work, been blessed, eaten lunch together in the Walled Garden. And prayed. We want to pray over this Retreat House, again and again and again.

If the LORD does not build the house, it is useless for the builders to work on it. Psalm 127:1 (God's Word translation)

We pray that The Vine @ Mays Farm will be "auspice Christo" (built with the help of Christ)

Here is your own special invite, to come and be part of this:



9.30 - 5.30 (or whenever you can be here within those times!) 

Painting and decorating party

Bring a paintbrush and wear clothes suitable for painting in!

And if you hate painting there' s lots of garden work to be done too.

RSVP - we will provide lunch so need to know numbers.

Don't be a stranger, see you real soon, as our Southern friends would say!

Latest photos of Mays Farm - they may look as if it is still a building site (it is!) but the developments in the two weeks we have been away are amazing to us.  Kitchen floor will be tiled this weekend too. We're getting there!







POST SCRIPT: One couple are having to cancel their places on the Italy Pilgrimage - so there are 2 places available if you would like to join us Sept 7-14, walking the Via Francigena from San Gimignano to Monticello. Get in touch if you would like more info!  

And the winner of the time capsule competition is ...

  A while ago there was a competition on here, asking for suggestions as to what should be included in a time capsule to bury in Mays Farm. At the time, I couldn't imagine there would ever be a floor under which anything could be hidden!

There was mud everywhere this spring. Rain and mud outside; earth floors turning to mud inside. It looked like devastation to me - and I found it quite depressing. Would there ever be progress?

Friends kindly enquired - how is it going? Can you move in yet? Aren't you excited?

And I looked at the mud on our boots and the dust in our hair and I despaired. It was an utter disaster.


But there IS progress. Suddenly, things are happening in a different way. Instead of everything coming down, being taken apart, dug up or demolished, there is a putting together, a creating, a movement of new beginnings.

Progress is seen at last - look at the little store rooms being made into a kitchen.









So it still doesn't quite look like the finished kitchen ... but it's definitely improving.

And there's a similarity with my life and its ups and downs.

Sometimes it has felt that everything is demolished, devastated, depressed. 

For I too am a work in progress. Sometimes God has had to dig deep to remove the edifices I tried to erect, to dig out the imperfections, remove my all-too-easily constructed walls of pride and passions and perceptions. And it's painful.

Our workmen have been digging and demolishing  in order to restore and renew and recreate. And so has God -  He restores and renews and recreates my life.

If the LORD does not build the house, it is useless for the builders to work on it. If the LORD does not protect a city, it is useless for the guard to stay alert. (Ps 127:1)

Auspice Christo: built with the help of Christ.

I am learning to be patient about Mays Farm.

Please be patient with me, God hasn't finished with me yet!

There are other signs of new life everywhere around the Farm. And blossom in the Walled Garden.


Come and see! On May 18th & May 25th there are invitation days - details here.

And on May 25th we will be burying the time capsule under the elm beams of floor boards on the top landing. Come and pray with us for the new ministry at The Vine as we do this.

CHARLOTTE LEAKE: your entry was chosen by the MbD Trustees! Congratulations on winning a free retreat night at The Vine @ Mays Farm in September!


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  (2 Cor 5:17)

Might you pray for us? Pray for The Vine @ Mays Farm to be built by the Lord; pray for the ministry  of offering retreats and spiritual sanctuary; pray that all will be auspice Christo. Me and Mays Farm both.